6 June

6 June 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

[. . .] But that wasn't all. He was so neat, so careful of his appearance, so - brushed & combed. There was never a speck on blue serge suit. When you looked at his tie you wanted to smile, you could see how solemnly that knot had been drawn just so. Beams came from his hair and his boots, and his childish hands were a deep pink colour as though he'd just finished drying them.
From his first day at the office Charlie found his place as though he had been dreaming all his life what he would do when he was an office boy. He changed the blotting paper on the desks, kept the ink pots clean and filled, saw that there were fresh nibs, carried wire baskets of letters from the typists room to the Boss, to the Acting Manager, to Mr Tonks of the Wholesale Order Department, went to the post office, bought immense quantities of different kinds of stamps, asked the various callers who it was they wished to see, answered the store room phone. And at four o'clock when Miss Wickens, the head typist, had boiled the kettle on the electric heater she was so proud of, he took in the Boss's tea. A knock at the door. "Come in." Enter Charlie, with the tea tray, very serious and yet trying not to smile. He walks so straight that his knees rub together and if as much as a saucer clatters he draws in his breath and frowns... "Ah Charlie!" The Boss leans back. "That my tea." "Yes Sir." And very carefully the tray is lowered & a pink hand reaches out & ventures to move back a paper or two. Then Charlie stands upright like a soldier on parade, & glaring at the sugar as if he dared it to take wings & fly he says: "Have you everything you want, Sir?" "Yes I think so Charlie" says the Boss, easy and genial. Charlie turns to go. [. . .] [KM Notebooks, undated]